From a burgeoning arts scene to world-class museums, Dallas offers tourists many attractions to explore. However, visitors who go a bit off the beaten track to check out some of the city’s hidden gems will see a unique side of Dallas. While Dallas is steeped in cowboy culture, the city represents a distinctive blend of several different philosophies and walks of life, which is part of what makes it such an exciting place to visit. By deviating from the usual tourist spots, visitors can get a genuine feel for everything that the city has to offer and see the many different cultures represented. Some of Dallas’ hidden gems that tourists should consider exploring include the following:
1. Thanks-Giving Square
Many people overlook Thanks-Giving Square, which is perhaps best known for its chapel. One of the most interesting architectural sites in all of Dallas, the chapel was designed by Philip Johnson to instill a sense of deep peacefulness. The entire building is shaped like a massive spiral. The best part of a visit to the chapel is the incredible stained-glass ceilings that spiral along with the roof of the structure. Visitors will definitely want to bring their cameras along to get snapshots of the colorful glass.
2. Underground Tunnels
Even people who live in Dallas often do not know about the extensive subterranean tunnels running throughout the downtown area. However, the tunnels are a great way to spend an afternoon. Today, the tunnels have been transformed into spaces with various shops, services, and restaurants. At the same time, it is still quite easy to get lost in the maze-like grid of tunnels. While the experience can prove a bit creepy, it is unlike any other in the world.
3. The Samurai Collection
Dallas is home to a many renowned museums, such as the Nasher Sculpture Center and the Dallas Museum of Art. Due to their popularity, some of the smaller museums often go unexplored. Individuals who appreciate Japanese history should definitely check out The Samurai Collection, which features more than 1,000 pieces of armor, weapons, and more. Visitors will get a unique glimpse of the history of Japanese warfare and the life of a samurai. The collection is housed in the Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum.
4. Dragon Park
Located in Oak Lawn, Dragon Park is actually quite small, but it is a must-see for anyone with a deep appreciation for fairy tales. Throughout the space, visitors will find a diverse collection of interesting statues, all of which are inspired by fantasy genres. In addition to dragons, the statues include angels, fairies, gargoyles, and more. The park offers great photo opportunities and can be especially fun for younger children to explore as they seek out the different figures.
5. Fort Worth Water Gardens
Located a short distance from Dallas is the Fort Worth Water Gardens, which are located right around the corner from Sundance Square. The attraction features three different water structures, all of which are simply breathtaking. Individuals will feel like they’ve stumbled into an oasis in the middle of the city. This option provides the perfect way to relax and find some peace after sightseeing elsewhere, whether that means sitting in the gardens with a book or enjoying some conversation with travel companions.
6. Winspear Opera House
Even guests who do not enjoy the opera should carve out some time to see the Winspear Opera House, which remains one of the most popular architectural attractions in Dallas. The structure is a masterpiece of modern architecture, and the reflective pools outside offer great photo opportunities. Individuals can even stand in the shallowest parts of the water to make it appear like they are walking across the surface. Travelers with an interest in opera should stick around to catch one of the incredible performances.
7. Plano Super Bowl
While most tourists probably do not have bowling at the top of their list of favorite things to do while traveling, the truth is that this bowling alley is unlike any other in the world. Plano Super Bowl is open 24 hours a day, so visitors can play before breakfast or come for a match in the middle of the night. A bonus is Scratch Restaurant, which takes the place of a normal concession stand and serves truly delicious food, such as mole-glazed chicken wings and Wagyu beef. Individuals can enjoy their meals as they bowl or hang out in the lounge area to eat.
8. El Come Taco
While Dallas is not located very close to the Mexican border, virtually all of Texas offers some unique takes on traditional foods from its southern neighbor. El Come has a very simple, yet elegant, menu featuring all of the favorites, including brisket, chicken, and pork tacos. Customers should be sure to check out the specials and order the tres leches cake for dessert. Located in the northeastern part of the city close to residential areas, El Come is well worth the trek from downtown.